Archive for August 3rd, 2007

Uneven reporting

Many express their opinions online on how reporting is not objective among journalistic sources, e.g. FOX. However, for me, the real problem is not how this or that TV channel did not report on some bad things that the US government did, or it tried to half-report another bad thing that some soldiers did etc. It goes beyond that. It goes back to how bad pure reporting is, and how uneven it is on fundamental issues.

For example, for 2 days now the main story on the *international* version of CNN is the bridge that collapsed in the Mississippi River. Five people died there. I am sad about this. But my question is this: Why didn’t this story ever became No1? Or this one? Or this one, which barely made it to the top-10? If you try to completely objectively evaluate all these stories, or pick your top story based on the head-count of the various accidents around the world, the bridge collapse might not even make the front page!

I don’t mind the US version of CNN to have the bridge collapse as their top story, in fact it makes sense to do so. But for the International version, I expect a more even reporting. Just because the casualties are from third world countries where people are dying every day, does not make it “less bad” and therefore “less shocking” and therefore “less interesting”. Just like with art, it all depends how you present your work to make them sound interesting to your audience. From the moment you have achieved that, no one will say “ah, that happened in Kongo, who cares?”.

You could argue that even the International version of CNN is mostly read by “first world” citizens rather than third world ones, but then, don’t call it “International”. And besides, I am from Greece, which is not exactly very modern compared to UK or USA. And yet, CNN International is where I get my news from. And I am sure that a lot of people from Kongo who live abroad get their news that way too.